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      26. M) pollutants
      27. N) restricted
      28. C) consequence
      29. J) innovation
      30. F) detail
      31. K) intended
      32. L) outdoor
      33. B) collaborating
      34. I) inhabitants
      35. E) creating

      Air quality

      Something in the air tonight

      Tackling atmospheric pollution is hard。 More data will help

      Print edition | Science and technology

      Feb 13th 2016 | LOS ANGELES 

      SINCE the 1940s, southern California has had a reputation for smog。 Things are not as bad as once they were but, according to the American Lung Association, a health group, Los Angeles is still the worst city in the United States for levels of 26 ozone, nitrogen oxides, hydrocarbons and carbon monoxide。 Gazing down on the city from the Getty Centre, an art museum in the Santa Monica Mountains, haze can blot out the view of the Pacific Ocean。 Nor is the state’s bad air 27 restricted to its south。 Fresno, in the central valley, comes top of the list in America for year-round particulate pollution。 Residents’ hearts and lungs are strained as a 28 consequence。

      All of which, combined with California’s reputation as the home of technological 29 innovation, makes the place ideal for developing and testing systems designed to monitor pollution in 30 detail。 And that is just what Aclima, a fledgling firm in San Francisco, has been doing over the past few months。 It has been trying out arrays of monitoring stations, some of them mobile, that are 31 intended to yield minute-to-minute maps of 32 outdoor air pollution。 Such stations will also be able to keep an eye on what is going on inside buildings, including offices。

      The stations in Aclima’s arrays are triangular and measure 20cm along a side。 Each contains 12 off-the-shelf sensors that detect pollutants such as ozone, carbon monoxide and methane, as well as the small particles of which smog is composed。 They also monitor basic data such as temperature and humidity, which affect how pollution forms and lingers。 The elements of an array may be fixed and spaced according to what exactly they are trying to measure。 Or they can be attached to vehicles, so that entire roads can be sampled routinely。

      To this end, Aclima has been 33 collaborating with Google’s Street View system, resulting in maps such as the one below。 Davida Herzl, Aclima’s boss, says they have, as expected, revealed pollution highs on days when San Francisco’s transit workers went on strike and the city’s 34 inhabitants were forced to take to their cars。 Conversely, “cycle to work” days have done their job by 35 creating pollution lows。

      Aclima has already, at Google’s expense, mapped 20,000km (12,000 miles) of roads in the Bay Area this way。 It plans to produce a detailed map of the air quality of California’s most populous regions—those around Los Angeles, San Francisco and the Central Valley—before the year is out。 It will then move on to the rest of America and (Ms Herzl hopes) beyond。 For such outdoor work, most of its customers are likely to be charitable foundations or governments。 But Aclima hopes to make money from the private sector as well, by measuring pollution levels indoors。

      Again, Google has acted as a guinea pig。 It has been testing Aclima’s technology in its offices for the past two years, crunching through more than half a billion data points a day on the air quality within them。 The result, according to Ms Herzl, is the world’s largest pollution-related database on indoor environments。

      Without wind and other weather to move them on, these data show, indoor levels of many nasties can be between two and five times those outside。 The Googleplex is in Silicon Valley—a relatively clean part of the state。 If such ratios also apply on a smoggy day in LA, watch out。

      Print edition | Science and technology

      Feb 13th 2016 | LOS ANGELES

      本文節選自一篇名為“Air quality Something in the air tonight”的文章,講述了自二十世紀四十年代起南加州嚴重的空氣污染以及對人們身體造成的傷害,一家舊金山的公司利用系統去檢測空氣污染。文章難度不大,挖空的十個單詞分別為動詞、名詞和形容詞這三類。考生做題時,可以先對所給十五個單詞進行詞性歸類,再結合一些動詞名詞的固定搭配,如“restrict to”,“collaborate with sb.”,“in detail”以及形容詞修飾名詞等規律,根據上下文選擇出最合適的單詞。

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